Hard Rock Officials Celebrate Milestone

CHIEF SPEAKER: Cherokee Principal Chief Bill John Baker speaks to an audience before the topping out of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa’s new 10-story tower.

The largest gaming and entertainment destination in northeast Oklahoma is one step closer to adding more hotel rooms, entertainment options and amenities.

Cherokee Nation, Cherokee Nation Entertainment and Flintco officials celebrated the topping out of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa’s new 10-story tower that will add 100 suites and more than 55,000 square feet of entertainment, gaming and convention space to the resort. Topping out ceremonies commemorate reaching the highest point of construction on a project.

“We are proud of the growth and prosperity of the Cherokee Nation,” says Bill John Baker, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. “With that prosperity comes the responsibility to serve the Cherokee people and our communities well. This project helps us do that by creating jobs, funding vital services for our citizens and creating economic development opportunities.”

The new tower will make Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa the largest hotel in northeast Oklahoma with 456 rooms and suites.

The expansion also provides options for those seeking a non-smoking gaming and hospitality experience, with a smoke-free casino floor and hotel rooms. Additional amenities include a new media bar, dining options and an innovative gaming zone with interactive and multiplayer games.

“This is not just a gaming destination, but a tourist destination that allows us to provide an unrivaled entertainment experience,” says Shawn Slaton, executive vice president, Cherokee Nation Entertainment. “Overnight stays, banquet space, entertainment options and concerts all create an economic draw to the surrounding area and bring in businesses like gas stations, restaurants and other hotels.”

Construction will cost $52 million and be complete later this year. The property will employ nearly 1,500 people when the new tower and gaming floor open. The Cherokee Nation first opened the property in 1993 as Cherokee Bingo Outpost with only 80 employees. It later became Cherokee Casino Resort, the state’s first gaming and resort destination, and in 2009 assumed the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino brand.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa currently offers multiple dining options and nightspots, a theater-style event center, convention space, an art gallery, a jewelry store, a clothing store and a championship 18-hole golf course.

A remodel has recently been completed at “Buffet,” one of many dining options at the casino. The buffet will have seating for 320 people and a diverse offering of food selections prepared fresh in front of guests.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa is located off of Interstate 44 at exit 240. For more information, visit www.hardrockcasinotulsa.com or call 800-760-6700.

Cherokee Nation Entertainment is the gaming, entertainment, hospitality, retail and tourism entity of the Cherokee Nation. operates Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa; seven Cherokee Casinos in Roland, Sallisaw, West Siloam Springs, Tahlequah, Fort Gibson, Claremore and Ramona; two Cherokee Outpost convenience stores; six retail tobacco shops; four gift shops; two golf courses; the Cherokee Travel Plaza; and four hotels. employs more than 3,500 people in northeast Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas.

In addition, the Cherokee Nation Businesses board of directors held its regular monthly board meeting and announced record profits for the month of March. CNB’s consolidated net income for both gaming and non-gaming entities increased 16 percent over the previous year, making March the most profitable month in the history of the company.

“We’re pleased to announce our businesses are healthy and growing,” says Baker. “Whether it’s creating job opportunities or funding services like housing and health care, every dollar our companies make is a dollar that helps improve the lives of Cherokee people.”

In addition to posting record profits, also achieved its highest number of new Cherokee hires ever. Ninety-eight percent of new employees hired in March were Cherokee citizens.

Updated 05-21-2012

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